How to Flirt With and Date Fat People Without Being All Weird About It

Dote on them in public. Ask how they want to be touched. Keep your “health concerns” to yourself.
An illustration of three Black femmes of color standing in a spotlight
Illustration by Cath Virginia
It's not a set of rules—it's a state of mind.

I’m a flirt hound. I flirt with people on purpose, by accident, and for fun. Whether it leads to anything or is just a momentary thing, I enjoy both outcomes equally—unless someone makes the great faux pas of commenting on my weight.

I am a fat Black lesbian woman, and as a flirting enthusiast, I have a lot of expertise about what to do, and what not to do, when you’re trying to pick up a hot fat person. A lot of that is based on fatphobic experiences I’ve had with people who were trying to date me.  I have found that people tend to be less afraid that their actions will be labelled “fatphobic” than they might feel in other instances of prejudice: When I’ve raised the concept of fatphobia  to would-be dates, they tend to laugh, brush it off, or feign confusion about what it even means. 


Simply: Fatphobia is a mindset in which fat people are seen as less than thin people. And it’s absolutely rampant when you’re a fat person who’s dating around, even among people who claim to “love” fat bodies. 

Chances are, if you’re reading this based on the headline, you already know fat people are just as sexy as skinny people and are looking for some pointers on making something happen with a fat person that you’re interested in flirting with, or maybe even hooking up with. But that means making sure you get right with yourself about any fatphobic bias you might have unwittingly absorbed first! Before you give it a shot, here’s what to know when flirting with, dating, and hooking up with fat people. 


Don’t act like you’re doing a hot fat person a favor by showing interest in them.

I talked with a few of my fat friends, and a general consensus about flirting, dating, and hooking up with fat people was that making assumptions about a fat person’s self-esteem—specifically, that it’s bad—because of their weight is a big no. This means assuming someone is so insecure because of their weight that they’ll consider it some kind of weird gift that a slimmer person, would be interested in them. It’s deeply unsexy when someone condescends to the person they are coming on to with this mindset in place—and people can always tell. 

Don’t say anything about a person’s body or size—even if you think it’s appreciative.


Successful (read: hot) flirtations rely most on what you say, and how you say it. When you’re flirting with a fat person, both considerations are especially important—you don’t want to put your foot in your mouth or come off like a creep before you have a chance to get to know someone. 

Generally, it’s pretty rude to comment on someone’s weight in any circumstance, but especially when you don’t know them. Comments like “you’re pretty for a fat girl” are never recommended, obviously, but even if you’re not being derogatory outright, bringing up someone’s size is almost always in poor taste—there’s really no need to talk about how much you’re into bigger girls or thick thighs or whatever right off the bat.

If you’re confused about what to say, try complimenting your date’s appearance without specifically going out of your way to signal that you’re attracted to fat people. “You look great,” or “I love the way you look in that dress” says, I see your body, and I like what I see, but isn’t straight-up fetishizing. Still: If you want to stay away from body comments altogether, great choice! Compliment their outfit itself or their eyes. 

In fact, let’s take a minute to talk about fetishizing fat people! Don’t talk about how much you “love” fat bodies.

Not everyone is coming from a malicious place when they talk about your body, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t suck. Sometimes you encounter people that think they are being appreciative, but they are really fetishizing you. These are the kinds of people that will call you a “BBW,” aka “big, beautiful woman”—a phrase that I sometimes use jokingly, but hate to hear from potential partners. 


A friend of mine, Asha, said that the behavior in others she dislikes most while flirting leaves her feeling sexually objectified for her weight. “[The] worst thing is a person who is a stranger talking about their assumptions of how good I am in bed based on my body,” she said. 

Some fetishizing comments are sneakier and are intended to pass as  compliments. One ever-present comment, which goes something like “I actually prefer a woman with a little more meat on her bones,” is just a gross way of saying you prefer fat women sexually, in the same vein as “more cushion for the pushin’” comments that make fat people feel like we are only “good for” sex. 

Consider how your fitness-y profile on the apps might come off to a fat person.

When you’re on the apps... I don’t know how to describe this to thin people, but fat people have a sixth sense for detecting fatphobic dates. A person that I have a hunch is going to be fatphobic will usually be obsessed with fitness on their profile. If all of their pics are flexing or gym pics, or they list their weight and height on their profile, they’re letting you know that that's important to them. This isn’t to say you can’t be proud of your body on your profile, just that it can send an unintended message to some people. 

Do show interest based on the conversations you have, not just appearance.


After you’ve made your introductions, my goal when flirting is always to make someone blush a little bit. I was on an app once and a woman and I were talking about the hot girl summers we’d planned, and how we were excited to be vaccinated so we could see hookups. She simply said, “Well, hopefully I can be on your roster,” and I loved that. It sends a clear message: I want you, and hopefully you’re interested in me, too.

Do make eye contact. 

If you’re in the same room, eye contact is very important! You want to show that person you aren’t afraid to look at them—that you aren’t afraid to convey desire for them in public. If the mood feels a little suggestive, you can even give them the once-over: Pan your eyes down to admire their body, then pull back up and make meaningful eye contact again. 


Don’t be the one to bring up fatphobia first.

This sometimes happens when you’re fat: People think they are more progressive or “woke” when they date you, but still treat you like crap in private while congratulating themselves for being so evolved. No, thank you.

Another friend of mine, Annie Rose, said she’s experienced this, too. “Something that irks me is when thin queers try to talk about fatphobia with me on dates to show how [woke] they are. That’s not appealing to me when I’m trying to get it in,” she said. 


Dote on the person in public, just like you would with any other new crush.

Dating a fat person isn’t a free pass to treat them poorly or expect them to bear the brunt of the labor. Just because your partner is fat doesn’t mean they want to be the one that does most of the cooking and cleaning. No one wants you to emotionally dump on them and expect them to be naturally nurturing because of their body type. 

You also shouldn’t treat your partner like they can bear more “teasing” than a skinny person—it’s not funny or cool to make little jokes about their size. Whether you’re the type of person that “teases” your partner or the type that wants to show how woke you are for dating them, you’re still on the side of an error: Making your partner feel like they are only fat, and not a fully realized person. 

Introduce the person you’re dating to your friends and family.

A big part of dating anyone you like is introducing them to your friends and family. Even showing the group chat a photo of your new boo is a rite of passage! If your new boo happens to be fat, and you find yourself not posting them on social media or refraining from showing them off to friends, ask yourself why. If you’re honest with yourself and realize it's because they’re fat, that’s a sign you should probably end things and work on your fatphobia instead of subjecting them to your shame around their body. 


Don’t suddenly spring “health concerns” on your fat romantic interest.

A person I once dated was good about flirting in the beginning, but as we got serious, she would condescend to me about what I ate and how much I worked out, even tricking me into long, exhausting bike rides under the guise of going on sweet dates together. 

Some people enter relationships with fat people with the secret intent to change them through diet and exercise. I shouldn’t have to tell you that this is also a no. If you aren’t attracted to someone as they are, leave them alone. There will be plenty of other people in the world that find them devastatingly sexy, just as they are, in the fat body they have. 

Do show pride and interest in your partner in the company of others. 

When dating a fat person, do show pride for having snagged that babe! Don’t try to hide your relationship in public, be less affectionate around other people, or act like what’s going on between the two of you isn’t actually that big a deal. That makes us feel like we are a big, bad secret—that you’re ashamed to be with us. Wouldn’t you rather have a person you’re into feel appreciated, and even swooned over? So do those things instead—at home, and out in the world.

Hooking up

Do ask how people want their bodies to be touched. 

Have a conversation about touch; what parts of their body can be touched and what parts can’t. Some fat people don’t like their stomachs touched during sex. Some love it, and want to be touched and kissed everywhere. It really varies from person to person, so the best thing to do is ask. 


Don’t expect fat people to be “wilder” in bed than slimmer people.

It’s a weird stereotype that, because they’re fat, fat people have to “overcompensate” by being more hardcore or open sexual partners than their skinny counterparts. And some people think it’s OK to assume fat people are more into kinky sex than skinny people. This is a conversation that should be had before hooking up! 

I once had a partner tell me I wasn’t a big enough hoe for her when we had sex—she assumed that I would be more explicit in bed because of my body type. That made me feel like I had to do things I wasn’t comfortable with in order to keep her interested in me, which was very alienating.

Don’t be afraid to let your fat partner be on top.

I’ve seen lots of degrading memes about how there’s a weight limit for riding or face sitting. The thing is, sex can go awry with thin people in the same way it can for fat people. Assuming a person’s weight is going to harm you is a bad start to a sex. You’re not gonna die if you do things right. 

Do remember that you’re having sex with a person, not a body type—and that that’s the hotter approach for everyone involved.

Once you’ve outlined what the do’s and don’ts are, getting busy should be fun and freeing. Don’t be so goal-oriented that you forget to listen to your partner’s body. By this, I mean: Don’t treat the person you’re having sex with like an experience. Maybe this person is the first fat person on your “roster”—but you don’t have to volunteer that information unless the person you’re hooking up with asks.

As ever: Don’t rush, take direction and guidance when it's offered to you. Take your time getting to know what works. If toys or kink are being introduced, make sure you’re checking in and be prepared to do some aftercare. Let your hair down and preconceived notions go, and you’ll have the time of your life.

Now that you’ve been equipped with expert tools from a certified fat hot babe, go forth and flirt with confidence! Take these stories and lessons to heart, and be brave in your pursuit of the fat hottie you’ve been crushing on. 

Follow Dani Janae on Twitter.